Today is the 51st birthday of Paul Holgate, who’s the co-founder of the Holgate Brewhouse is Melbourne, Australia. I met Paul in Melbourne a few years ago, when I was there to judge at the Australia International Beer Awards. Getting to know Paul was great fun, and, like me, he’s an old timer in beer terms. Join me in wishing Paul a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Charles N. Hamm (December 8, 1886-October 16, 1918). This is one of the brewer’s birthdays I know the absolute least about. What little I know came from a snippet from a genealogical page about the family that bought the Hamm’s family brewery in 1932, although the Jung’s had apparently been leasing it for many years before that, possibly as early as 1918. Charles N. Hamm and his family, as far as I can tell, owned and possibly founded (although it seems more likely they bought in to) the Silver Lake Brewery, which was founded in Random Lake, Wisconsin in 1866. Charles’ father, Carl Hamm, was born in 1853, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany so it seems unlikely he started a brewery in Wisconsin when he was thirteen, plus records indicate he came to the U.S., initially New York, in 1872, and didn’t settle in Wisconsin until at least 1883, which is where his son Charles was born.
But at some point the Hamm family did acquire it, renaming it the Charles Hamm Brewery in 1910. In 1917, The Brewers Journal listed Charles N. Hamm as the “president, general manager, and brewmaster.” Hamm apparently enlisted in the Army and was sent to Europe to fight in World War I, leaving William Jung as brewmaster. Unfortunately, Hamm caught pneumonia while overseas and died in 1918.
In 1920, Jung leased the brewery from the Hamm family, and called it the Jung Beverage Co. during prohibition, but bought it outright in 1932. From then on it was known as the Jung Brewing Co. and 1952, when Jung sold out to Herman Sitzberger, who kept it going under the same name until 1958, when it closed for good.
Today is the birthday of John A. Weyand (December 8, 1859-1907). He was the son of Christian Weyand, who founded what would become the Christian Weyand Brewing Co., which remained in business until closed by prohibition in 1920.
This biography of Weyland os from “Our County and its people: A descriptive work on Erie County, edited byTruman C. White, from 1898:
Weyand, John A., vice president and general manager of the Christian Weyand Brewing Company, and one of Buffalo’s most respected citizens, was born in that city, December 8, 1859. He early evinced a desire to acquire an education and after passing through the public schools and Canisius College he entered the Bryant & Stratton Business College, from which he was graduated before attaining his majority. He immediately entered his father’s brewery, remaining in that business until 1890, when it was made a stock company and he was made vice president and general manager. Aside from his extensive business affairs, Mr. Weyand takes an active interest in church affairs, being a member of St. Louis Catholic church, is a trustee of St. John’s Protectory, member of the Buffalo Orpheus, Sangerbund and Liedertafel. He has always taken an active interest in all public enterprises and was a park commissioner under Mayor Bishop.
This short history of the brewery, including mentions of John and his father, is from the “1897 Brewers Convention Buffalo NY,” published by the Buffalo Brewers Association:
Christian Weyand Brewing Company.
In 1866, Christian Weyand established the business now conducted by The Christian Weyand Brewing Company. Mr. Weyand is a native of France, having been born in the province of Lorraine a little more than seventy years ago. There he spent his youth and received his education; but in his twenty-first year he left Lorraine for the wider opportunities of the New World, landing in New York just fifty years ago. He soon found his way to Buffalo, but it was nearly twenty years before he began the business with which his name is now so intimately connected in the minds of all Buffalonians. During these years he worked as a shoemaker — at first as an employee, and later in a shop of his own.
Mr. Weyand, with a partner, began the brewing business in a small way, with little capital and a poorly equipped plant; but the purest and best of barley malt was used from the start, and improved machinery was introduced as fast as the necessary capital could be secured. In 1873. Mr. Weyand assumed entire charge of the business, and applied himself vigorously to the task of building up a model brewery. His efforts met with entire success, and in a few years his establishment became one of the first in its line in Buffalo — a city that boasts of many fine breweries. In 1890, he organized the business into a stock company, called The Christian Weyand Brewing Company, of which he is president, his son, John A. Weyand, vice-president and manager, and another son, Charles M. Weyand, secretary and treasurer. Since then the business has materially increased, and in 1896-97 it became necessary to make extensive additions to the plant. The new buildings on the corner of Main and Goodell streets, built of buff terra cotta elaborately ornamented in Renaissance style, are exceedingly handsome; and it is now one of the best-equipped breweries in the country.
This is purported to be a photograph of the house at the “Southeast Corner Main and Goodell Streets” from the 1912 “Picture Book Of Earlier Buffalo.” But as Michael F. Rizzo and Ethan Cox, authors of “Buffalo Beer” point out, “the structures in the background and to the left of the subject must have been the Christian Weyand brewery. Indeed, the least occluded building to the left was, I think, their office address on Goodell.”
Today is the birthday of Christian William Feigenspan (December 7, 1876-February 7, 1939). His father, Christian Benjamin Feigenspan, was born in Thuringia, Germany but moved his family to New Jersey and founded the C. Feigenspan Brewing Company of Newark in 1875, though at least one source says 1868. When his father died in 1899, Christian William took over management of the brewery, which remained in business through prohibition, but was bought by Ballantine in 1943. He was also “president of Feigenspan Brewing Company, president of Federal Trust Company, and president of the United States Brewers’ Association.”
Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:
Businessman. He took over Newark, New Jersey’s Feigenspan Brewery Company, founded by his father in 1868, when his father died in 1899. He then transformed the company into one of the best known breweries up until and after prohibition. Today it’s labels are the among the most sought after by collectors.
Here’s another biography from “Legendary Locals of Rumson,” written by Roberta H. Van Anda:
And here’s his obituary from his local newspaper:
Today is the birthday of Henry Rahr Jr. (December 6, 1865-September 24, 1909). He was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the son of Henry Rahr, who founded the East River Brewery in Green Bay. When his sons were old enough, he brought them into the business, and in 1891, when Henry Sr. died, Henry Jr. became president and his brother Frederick also worked for the brewery. They re-named it Henry Rahr’s Sons Brewing Co., but later shortened it to Rahr Brewing Co. It survived prohibition, finally closing in 1966.
This obituary is from the American Brewers Review from 1909:
And this lengthier obituary is from the Green Bay Press-Gazette on September 24, 1909:
This short history of the brewery is from The Neville Public Museum:
One hundred fifty years ago, Henry Rahr established a brew house on the corner of Main Street and N. Irwin Avenue in Green Bay known as the East River Brewery. It would become the largest and most well-known historic brewery in Green Bay. Following the death of Henry Rahr in 1891 the business was passed to his sons Henry Jr. and Frederick and became Henry Rahr & Sons Co. Prior to Prohibition (pre 1920) Rahr’s was producing 60,000 barrels of beer per year. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the brewery was back in business and began pumping out “Standard,” “Special,” “Belgian” and “Old Imperial Pale Beer.” In 1966 the company was sold to Oshkosh Brewing Co. Exactly 100 years after opening, Rahr’s Brewery was shut down. The brewery buildings were demolished, leaving no trace behind except for Rahr’s merchandise, barrels, and bottles.
And this brewery history is from “Breweries of Wisconsin,” by Jerold W. Apps and Jerry Apps:
Today is the birthday of Henry Liebmann (December 6, 1836-March 27, 1915). He was born Heinrich Liebmann in Schmiedelfeld, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. His father owned the Castle Schmiedelfeld, but when Henry was four, the family moved to Ludwigsburg and operated the Zum Stern Inn there, which also included a brewery. For political reasons, some of the family moved to America around 1850 to build a home, and the rest followed in 1854. Initially he ran the old Maasche Brewery, but later built a new brewery in Bushwick. Originally, it was called the Samuel Liebmann Brewery, but when his sons joined the brewery, it was called the S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery. When Henry’s father died in 1872, Henry and his brothers took over the family brewery, and Henry became brewmaster. After prohibition ended, the brothers’ six sons re-opened the brewery as the simpler Liebmann Breweries, but in 1964 they changed the name again to Rheingold Breweries, after their most popular beer. The brewery closed in 1976.
Here’s his obituary from the Brewers Journal, in July of 1915:
This is from “The Originators of Rheingold Beer: From Ludwigsburg to Brooklyn – A Dynasty of German-Jewish Brewers,” by Rolf Hofmann, originally published in Aufbau, June 21, 2001:
New Yorkers over the age of fifty will remember the brand name Rheingold Beer and the company’s brilliant publicity stunt in which a bevy of attractive young women competed annually for the privilege of being elected that year’s Miss Rheingold and appearing in ads on billboards and in the subways throughout the New York area.
The beer’s evocative name with its allusion to Germany’s great river, was the culmination of a German-Jewish family enterprise that had its beginnings in 1840 in the town of Ludwigsburg, north of Stuttgart, in what was then the Kingdom of Württemberg. One Samuel Liebmann, a member of a prominent Jewish family in the region, settled there and bought the inn and brewery “Zum Stern.” A liberal and staunch supporter of Republican ideals, Liebmann encouraged other like-minded citizens, including some soldiers from the garrison, to meet in his hospitable surroundings. The ideas fomented there contributed to the local revolution of 1848. It brought the opprobrium of the King down upon Liebmann’s enterprise, and “Zum Stern” was declared off limits to the soldiers. Soon thereafter, in 1850, Samuel Liebmann emigrated to the U.S.
The family settled in Brooklyn and Samuel, together with his three sons, Joseph, Henry, and Charles, opened a brewery once again at the corner of Forest and Bremen Streets. With the responsibilities divided among the family – Henry became the brewing expert, Charles. the engineer and architect, Joseph, finance manager – the company was already flourishing by the time of Samuel’s death in 1872. Success also led to a concern for the company’s Brooklyn surroundings, and the Liebmanns became involved in local welfare – focusing on housing and drainage systems.
Each of the three brothers had two sons, and when the older Liebmanns retired in 1903, the six members of the third generation took over. Other members of the family also contributed to the gradual expansion of the company. In 1895 Sadie Liebmann (Joseph’s daughter), married Samuel Simon Steiner, a trader in high quality hop, an essential ingredient for good beer. Steiner’s father had begun merchandising hop in Laupheim in 1845 and still today, S.S. Steiner, with its headquarters in New York, is one of the leading hop merchants. Under these fortuitous family circumstances, beer production grew constantly. In the early years, the brewery had produced 1000 barrels per year, by 1914 its output stood at 700,000 barrels.
Henry Liebmann (center with white beard) and family.
Unfortunately, political developments in the U.S. between 1914 and 1933 were extremely disadvantageous for the Liebmann brewery. The resentment against Germany and anything German during World War I led to an informal boycott of German beers. Following close upon the lean wartime years, was the implementation of Prohibition in 1920 forbidding the manufacturing and trading of alcohol. The Liebmann enterprise managed to survive by producing lemonade and a product they called “Near Beer.”
With the reinstatement of legal alcohol production under President Roosevelt in 1933, opportunities for the brewery opened up, abetted by the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler’s Germany. The pressures on Jewish businessmen there, brought Dr. Hermann Schülein, general manager of the world-renowned LšwenbrŠu brewery, to America. Schulein’s father, Joseph, had acquired two of Munich’s leading breweries at the end of the nineteenth century–Union and Münchner Kindl–and his son had managed the 1920 merger with Löwenbrau. Arriving in New York with this experience behind him, Hermann Schülein became one of the top managers of the Liebmann brewery and was instrumental in its spectacular growth after World War II.
Working with Philip Liebmann (great-grandson of Samuel), Schülein developed a dry lager beer with a European character to be marketed under the brand name “Rheingold.” According to company legend, the name was created in 1883 at a brewery dinner following a performance at the Metropolitan Opera. When the conductor took up his glass, he was so taken with the shade of the beer, that he declared it to be the color of “Rheingold.” For New Yorkers, however, the name Rheingold did not bring to mind the Nibelungen fables, but the pretty young ladies who participated in Schülein’s most brilliant marketing strategy – the selection of each year’s Miss Rheingold by the beer-drinking public of greater New York
At the height of the campaign’s success in the 1950’s and 60’s, the Liebmann Brewery had an output of beer ten times that of Löwenbrau at the same time in Munich.
For thirty years, Rheingold Beer reigned supreme in the New York area, but by 1976, as a local brewery, it could no longer compete with nationwide companies such as Anheuser & Busch, Miller, and Schlitz, and its doors were closed. Only recently, using the same brewmaster, Rheingold is once again being sold in the tri-state area.
Here’s an “Origin of Liebmann Brewery” posted by a relative on Ancestry.com:
On May 12 1833 (Sulzbach-Laufen Archive) Samuel and his older brother Heinrich bought a castle/inn Schmiedelfeld, Sulzbach-Laufen, Schwaebisch Hall District that dated from 1739. They renovated the place and created a prosperous farm/estate and in 1837 began a brewery in the cellar. In 1840, he moved to Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart and purchased the gasthaus [guest house or inn] “Zum Stern” on Seestrasse 9 (later Zum Rebstock) which included a brewery. (source: Translation extract from Dr. Joacim Hahn’s book, History of the Jewish Community of Ludwigsburg)
After supporting a movement to oust King William I of Wurttemberg, and sensing the wavering tolerance of Jewish businessmen, Samuel sent his eldest son Joseph to the US in 1854 to scout out a location to establish a brewery.
Samuel retired in 1868 and turned the family business over to his sons Joseph, Charles, and Henry under the name S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewery.
Today is the birthday of Jacob Leinenkugel Jr. (December 5, 1893-February 12, 1935). He is the son of Jacob Leinenkugel, who in 1867, along with John Miller, co-founded the Spring Brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1884, Jacob bought out Miller and the name was changed to the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Miller Brewing Co. bought the brewery in 1988, but it continues to be managed by the Leinenkugel family.
Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:
Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel, son of Mathias Jacob Leinenkugel and Kathryn M Watzl was born 5 Dec 1893 in Chippewa Falls, Chippewa Co, Wis. His birth was recorded in Vol H page 219 of the Chippewa County Court House records.
Jacob was son of THE Jacob Leinenkugel of the brewery family.
He was the second of three children of Mathias and Kathryn. He became an attorney. He also served during WWI in the US Army.
Jacob went to Arizona due to health reasons and died in Tucson, Pima, Arizona at age 41 on 12 Feb 1935.
Jacob and Ethel had 2 sons: John William Leinenkugel and James Mathias Leinenkugel.
It appears that junior wasn’t too involved in brewery operations, though he may have done legal work for the business. Late in his short life, his health turned poor, and he and his family moved to Arizona for the climate, but he died not too long after the move, when he was only 41.
Today is the birthday of Henry Bartholomay (1829-September 3, 1906). He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, into a brewing family. In 1850 he came to America and two years later, in 1852, he opened the Phillip Will and Henry Bartholomay Brewery in Rochester, New York. Five years later he bought out his partner, and in 1857 it became known as the Henry Bartholomay Brewery, and later was called the Bartholomay Brewing Co. The brewery survived prohibition by making ice cream, but closed a year after reopening after it was repealed, in 1934.
This biography is from the “Rochester and the Post Express; A history of the City of Rochester from the earliest times; the pioneers and their predecessors, frontier life in the Genesee country, biographical sketches; with a record of the Post Express,” compiled by John Devoy, and published in 1895:
Henry Bartholomay, founder of the Bartholomay Brewery company, and perhaps the best known brewer in America, was born at Frankfort, Germany, December 5, 1829, and received his education at Heidelberg. His ancestors were brewers and he engaged in the brewing business at an early age, and was manager of several breweries before he attained his majority. In 1850 he came to this city and in company with the late Philip Will began brewing lager beer. The first beer from their brewery was sold December 7, 1852. The product of the plant that year was 300 barrels; it is now 600,000 barrels. The partnership between Messrs. Bartholomay and Will continued for several years, and on its termination Mr. Bartholomay organized the Bartholomay Brewery company, which is now universally known as one of the most successful in the world. The brewery is of itself a monument to its founder; situated on the east bank of the Genesee River at the angle formed by the junction of St. Paul street and Vincent place, it is the largest in Rochester, and has no superior in equipment in any part of the world. Mr. Bartholomay has every reason to be satisfied with the result of his enterprise and industry. His success in business has been most marked and he enjoys the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.
And this obituary is from the “Western Brewer and Journal of the Barley Malt and Hop Trades” for 1906:
And here’s another short obituary from the American Brewer:
And this history of the brewery was published in “100 Years of Brewing.”
Today is the 45th birthday of fellow beer writer and aspiring brewery owner Christian DeBenedetti. In 2011, he wrote The Great American Ale Trail and you can check out a lot of his other work online. His latest project is building a brewery on his family’s property, Springbrook Farm, and it’s called the Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery. It’s now been open a short time, and just added food, too. Join me in wishing Christian a very happy birthday.
In front of the brewhouse at Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, his brewery.
Today is the birthday of William Krug (December 1, 1857-June 21, 1910). He was the grandson of Fredrick Krug, who was the “German-immigrant founder of the Frederick Krug Brewing Company of Omaha, Nebraska. Krug is often cited as one of the early settlers of Omaha. In addition to operating the brewery for almost the entire duration of his life, Krug operated Krug Park in the Benson community and was the president of the Home Fire Insurance Company, which was founded in Omaha in 1884.” His son Frederick H. was involved in the business, and was treasurer, but passed away when he was only 44, five years before his father passed away. William also passed away young, nine years before his grandfather died, and fours before his father, but was vice-president and GM of the brewery when he died.
This is a short biography or obituary from Find-a-Grave:
Married Katherine Griesedeck. Oldest son of Fredrick Krug and was the head of Krug Brewery at the time of his death. He was an investor in the development of fair grounds and was on the board of directors of the Omaha Driving Park Association. He was test driving a Stearns automobile driven by Mr. Wallace of Wallace Auto Company, when another car crashed into them at the intersection of 34th and Leavenworth. William was thrown from the car fracturing his skull on the curb dying instantly. He lived at 818 S. 20th Street.
The brewery in 1920.
“The Fred Krug Brewery was located at 2435 Deer Park Boulevard in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1859, Krug Brewery was the first brewery in the city. Krug was one of the “Big 4” brewers located in Omaha, which also included the Storz, Willow Springs and Metz breweries. Later sold to Falstaff in 1936, the facility closed in 1987.
And in its heyday.
This is a short history of the brewery.
In 1859 Frederick Krug established the Krug Brewery with an original output of one and a half barrels a day. In 1878 the brewery was located on Farnam between 10th & 11th Streets in Downtown Omaha, and by 1880 it was brewing approximately 25,000 barrels a year. In 1894 the brewery moved to 29th & Vinton Street near South Omaha. It cost $750,000 and was reportedly one of the best equipped breweries in the country. Omaha’s historic Anheuser-Busch Beer Depot is the only remaining building from the original Krug Brewery.
You wouldn’t believe there was such difference in beers until you use one Krug’s popular brands. They are uniform perfectly brewed and well-aged absolutely pure and leave no bad after effects. The kind of beer that acts as a tonic and a system builder. Order a trial case and begin to enjoy. – Text from a 1910 advertisement by Fred Krug Brewing Company.
Krug brewed beer under several labels: Fred Krug, Cabinet, and Luxus. Krug supported an amateur baseball team called Luxus, taking them as far as the Amateur Baseball World Championship in 1915.